Unabridged: Phone Detox with Mr. Stacks – Transcript

Mr. Stacks is back! In this edition of Unabridged, we talk about our phone detox, which was inspired by the book How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life by Catherine Price. We discuss what went well, what was hard, and our plans moving forward. We answer audience questions about the challenge, along with some general ones about books.

*This episode is exclusive to members of The Stacks Pack on patreon. To join this community, get inside access to the show, and listen now, click the link below.


*These timestamps are not 100% accurate and may vary.

Traci Thomas 0:11
Alright, Stacks pack, back by extremely popular demand and very intense wife begging, Mr. Stacks has agreed to grace us with his presence. Mr. Stacks. Welcome back to The Stacks Unabridged.

Mr. Stacks 0:29
Oh, thanks for having me. Again.

Traci Thomas 0:35
Okay, so here’s the plan. We just completed our 30 day detox from the book, How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price. It was a long journey, though less long than I thought. And people on the Stacks Instagram, the discord, the Twitter, our life have had a lot of followup questions. So we’re doing an ask me anything about the phone stuff. But also, because we’re popular. And there’s some book-related questions. We’ll get to those at the end. Are you ready?

Mr. Stacks 1:09
I am weird. And I am ready. But just just to start off, like, this is a book that 100% of the time you tell somebody what you’re reading, and they were interested, jealous, wanted to know about it. So if you need some friends like me.

Traci Thomas 1:29
If you need a talking point-

Mr. Stacks 1:31
This is a great cocktail party book.

Traci Thomas 1:33
Yeah, I would also add that it’s sort of like being a vegan or running a marathon. It’s pretty much the only thing you want to talk about in public while you’re doing it is like, Hey, did you know that I’m not being on my phone so much? And people are like, oh, yeah, tell me about it. And then if you’re me, you tell everybody about it for 30 minutes, and they’re like, Okay, Tracy, we get it. You’re not on your phone as much. Okay, so we’ll start, this is the most common question I got. What was the easiest part? And what was the hardest part?

Mr. Stacks 2:02
The easiest part of reading the book or doing the phone detox? Because it is a very short book. It’s very, very easy to read. Very easy. The easiest part? I mean, I’m not on social media. All that much.

Traci Thomas 2:19
But you are on you just don’t tweet or post but you are reading.

Mr. Stacks 2:24
Yes. So the easiest part was probably just reorganizing your phone into folders and setting up pages. And during that stuff, that was pretty easy. And it was fascinating how much that actually worked. So like if you don’t want to use Instagram, tick tock like, put it in a folder deep down. Three swipes over? And like, at least for me, that definitely worked. The hardest part?

Traci Thomas 2:51
Well, let me do my easiest part first, and then we’ll both do hardest since we’re both and sorry. Sorry to cut you off. One on one. I’m not really sorry to cut you off. I guess you know what, let me tell you about something about podcast 101. Sometimes these guests need to be cut off. Okay. There’s a few episodes where people it needed to be ended and no offense to you, but it’s usually the straight white guys. So you’re keeping a tight leash on your pal? Yeah. warranted. Okay, for me, I think that the easiest part was doing everything day by day. Like, after reading the book. And then thinking about doing it, I had so much anxiety, I was like, there was no me be able to do it. It’s gonna be so hard. Like, it’s impossible. And it was actually really easy every day or the night before to like read what the plan was for the next day. And just to do that one thing, whereas when I thought about like doing 24 hours without the phone or like deleting Twitter, I was like, shaking and like panicking, but having just like, one thing a day. Yeah. Okay, hardest part?

Mr. Stacks 4:00
The hardest part for me was the night not the nighttime phone use, but I need something going on in my ear to fall asleep. And that part I just could not get rid of. We did it. At the very end. You break up with your phone for a full day. And it definitely helped me realize that I don’t need to listen to something to go to sleep. But man, it is hard to give up. You did a really good job because you’re supposed to like, charge your phone away from the bed in the bathroom. And you did that and you had no problem. Yeah, I could never do that.

Traci Thomas 4:40
You never did it. But here’s the thing. So we haven’t talked about this, but she does tell you in the book. If you have an old phone, you can connect your old phone to the internet and still run like podcasts or like streaming music through the old phone and then you’re not connected to your actual phone. The only problem for us is that our internet isn’t great and The bedroom and also you like to like stream shows and things while you’re sleeping. We don’t have a TV in our room people. So Mr. Sachs has like a little concoction set up with

Mr. Stacks 5:12
You’re zonked very fast.

Traci Thomas 5:15
Well you have headphones. And it’s not just like playing music.

Mr. Stacks 5:18
But that was hard.

Traci Thomas 5:20
My hardest part, I think, is the- so so she asked you to delete your social media apps, I think I’ve mentioned this on the internet, I did not delete Instagram, because I can’t make a reel. And I can’t post a stories and for work for this podcast. Obviously, I do a lot of that. And so I decided to just limit my Instagram use. But the hardest part was that I use a lot of functionality like Twitter, you can’t take a tweet from a browser, Twitter and put it into an app on your Instagram on your phone, it’s like that, it just like little irritating things. And then the other thing that was really hard is like remembering to not be on my phone sometimes like just like remembering that I’m trying to like being more mindful, it’s really hard. Because it’s just like such an automatic thing. Like I told you, she has you rearrange your phone and like put the things that that are she calls them tools, so like weather calculator, whatever that kind of stuff on your homepage. And she has you change your bottom home bar. So like I took my, my Safari browser, and my email off that lower bar and I put maps, and I put my camera or something like things that I use. And the first like three days, I just kept just clicking the Maps app, because I’m so used because that’s where my Safari browser was. And I didn’t realize how used to it was that I would like go on Instagram, go on Twitter, click Safari, like go see around doo doo doo doo. And so that was really hard to have like kind of breaking that cycle.

Mr. Stacks 6:54
But that, you know, it was fascinating though. Realizing that, yeah, you can do all the stuff that is on apps, you can do it on Safari, or Chrome or whatever. And it was fascinating to see that like these tech companies know that if you go to have to go to Safari or log in whatever, you’re probably not going to spend as much time on it. And so they really you could clearly see that they didn’t they don’t put any they don’t want to the design or the ease of use of those websites. And same thing like Instagram, you can’t do anything

Traci Thomas 7:33
Instagrams, web browser app, or web browser is trash carpaccio.

Mr. Stacks 7:38
And it makes you feel like a little icky. Like, these guys know, their inner lives. They’re, we’re interacting with them daily, and they know that the app is of how they totally.

Traci Thomas 7:49
And I think she even says earlier in the book, like it’s a lot about ads, because on the apps that can keep you locked in until they can serve you the ads, whereas it’s harder to do ads on the web pages or like there’s not as much engagement on the web pages. And so it’s not as like valuable to them.

Mr. Stacks 8:05
Right, which I mean, it made it easier now. Because now when I think about going on Twitter app, it’s like, and I know I’m gonna get sucked in. I don’t want to be sucked in so I’m just not gonna go and I’ll

Traci Thomas 8:16
have you added it back to your phone.

Mr. Stacks 8:18
I did for the Super Bowls. Yeah, yeah. Okay.

Traci Thomas 8:21
It’s been a week since I deleted. Okay. I’ll delete today. I have not added it back. Thank you very much. Okay, did next question is did you notice a turning point where things started to click, and you started cutting back more?

Mr. Stacks 8:37
I think I said this to you earlier, but it wasn’t a bad thing. But in this whole process of trying to be on our phones less like we definitely interacted more, and we talked more. And then when I saw you on your phone, it was a lot more noticeable. Not in a bad way. But it’s like, oh, you know, this is a time that she’s on her phone. And I never would have even thought about that. And so it’s you know, it’s not a bad thing. It’s not judging a judge other people. But it was a turning point. Probably like one weekend where it’s like, holy cow. Like we’re really on our phones, watching an episode of TV. It’s like, completely different when you’re not on your phone.

Traci Thomas 9:24
Yeah, I noticed it when I deleted Twitter and no offense to the sax hack but discord off my phone. I was on those so much on my phone, I mean my screen time basically cut in half. Immediately after doing that I was averaging like 656 hours on my phone every single day. And now and basically from that moment on from deleting those I average like two to three hours like truly cut it in half. So for me it was like, delete these things. It’s done.

Mr. Stacks 9:54
I stayed on the discord and I watched and people will notice and they weren’t happy.

Traci Thomas 9:58
Yeah, well, I mean, I’m on the discard. all the time, you all know by just all my computer. Okay, but here’s a follow up question to this or like a related question. Someone said, Aren’t you replacing some phone time with screen time on your computer? Why is that better?

Mr. Stacks 10:14
Well, for us, we didn’t actually lie did well you did for work and you kind of had to Yeah. But that’s a good question. But it’s actually more of the physical fact that you’re not going to carry your computer like, in your car. And yeah, scroll through when you’re on at a stoplight or for me at work, like, in the hospital that she made a point of, you know, being mindful, not only not to pick up your phone, in an elevator, but like, you know, talk to people who you’re an elevator with, or like, just be okay with not being on your phone, and just being bored. Which is kind of nice.

Traci Thomas 10:55
So, unlike you, ISIL, I was on the apps and things I was using it more on my computer, but like, you’re saying, I can’t carry my computer around with me everywhere. And also, I will be on Twitter and discord and stuff during work time, which for me is better because what I was doing was like, never delineating between working on the computer reading and then personal time. And so I would like sit down at two o’clock in the afternoon to like read for an hour, but then I would go on Discord and be like, Oh, this is work or like, Oh, I’m gonna like go on Instagram. And this is work. Whereas if it’s at my computer, and I just leave the computer in the other room. And I know that I’ve like completed my checklist. I’m not feeling as much anxiety about like getting things done, because I feel there’s more of a delineation between computer time, phone time, and work time. So yes, I did replace a lot of the time with computer time, but also like, it’s not nearly as much like I’m going on Twitter for like three minutes and then just closing the tab whereas if I was on my phone, I would scroll for 30 minutes. Okay, so this is another follow up to the follow up. Which you kind of just got at someone’s head I find this was Amber actually, I find I use my phone as a shield to not talk to people went out and about, like waiting in line. I try to work on this when I’m waiting, not just pulling it out. Have you found yourself making small talk with more people, which is literally you just answered that.

Mr. Stacks 12:24
Definitely, like even even just little things like we live walking distance from for a few restaurants. And just like you know, leaving my phone behind, which I never would do I would always have headphones in you show up and grab your food and go. Yeah, I definitely left my phone just walked got there spoke to you know, the hostess, looked at all the people there definitely was more chit chatty, and it felt good. Does that

Traci Thomas 12:51
sushi? Yeah. I, the other night, went to a book event with statspack friend of the pod Melissa. And I got there a little bit before her and I didn’t want to go inside without her. And so I was waiting outside and there was all these people also waiting. And they were all in groups. It was like twos and threes. And I was sitting there by myself. And I really had this impulse to pull my phone out because I felt so awkward because I was just standing there and all these people were together with their friends and their loved ones. And I was like when to reach for my phone. And I was like no, take a deep breath. And I was standing there. And I was like looking out at this beautiful view. And I took a deep breath. And I was like what is that? And I realized and I was moving? No, I was standing next to the trash. Like I never would have taken the moment to like take a deep breath and just like be with my awkwardness and just think and whatever. And then all the people went upstairs and I was still waiting for Melissa. And I started talking to the gal who worked there. And she was this really sweet gal and it was my and then she ended up sitting at our table later in the night and she became our pal and I never would have like built that base foundation with my and obviously Melissa and I immediately were like, okay, Maya, tell us who all these people are and give us the dirt. And she did and I’d like to think that she felt comfortable with us. Because she and I had talked for like five minutes and normally I would have just like been on my phone and ignored her like she wasn’t a human being so for sure, not being on your phone in line and in those awkward situations is sort of where like the cool serendipity stuff comes in. And it does just sort of feel nice to observe a bit more

Mr. Stacks 14:22
one I think also, it was hard in the beginning not being so judgy of people, like you said like, you could have easily looked around not on your phone but still be like, you know, look at all these people on their phone and nobody’s talking to anybody. But I I felt that initially and then I kind of you flipped it a little bit and be like look like Amber said she doesn’t want to be on her phone. She just does it because it’s habit and it helps her cope. So it’s like, I would make it a point if somebody’s on their phone just to start talking to them. Right and then they would always just put their phone away and go talkback and converse. And so I think a lot of people want to do this.

Traci Thomas 15:04
Yeah, I mean, and the other thing that we did, nobody asked, but I’m going to tell you, we started doing in our house is we pulled out a bowl when we had friends over for dinner. And when it was time to sit down for dinner, we asked everyone to put their phones in the bowl. And then and she, you know, she recommends doing that. And they knew that we were doing this detox. So we, you know, talked about it a little bit at dinner. But also thing that Catherine price recommends, which we did do is like, sometimes the phone enhances what’s going on, like, maybe you’re talking about your vacation, and you want to pull out pictures. And so she has you do this, like sort of dorky thing that I really like, you’re not as big of a fan of it. But where you say like permission to use phone and then the other person’s supposed to say like permission granted, and it’s a communal acknowledgement of like, Hey, we’re not supposed to be on our phone. But we’re gonna pull out this one phone for this one specific reason. And when we’re done, we’re gonna put it away. So we did that, so that I could play some bad bunny music, because obviously it was necessary. Oh, okay.

Mr. Stacks 16:04
See, I was not so into that. Because I, you think we have the world at in your phone, and you have an encyclopedia of history and your phone so you can look up anything at any time. But when we did the full 24 hours on our phone, it was kind of fun being like, oh, yeah, what is that thing? What was that thing back in the 90s? We watched the Challenger documentary. And I was like, what was that thing? And it was kind of fun. Not just pulling out a phone and knowing the answer in five minutes. Yeah, it was kind of fun to be like, you know, I remembered this way or that way. And then it makes it think like, back in the heyday, this was perfect fodder for moms and dads such as makeup. If I could ask you something, just say, oh, yeah, you just make it up? Or

Traci Thomas 16:52
be like, go get the encyclopedia, right?

Mr. Stacks 16:56
I mean, but by now, it’s like, we don’t even have that ability to just know make up whatever you think is the right answer. Because that can exist nowadays. But that was kind of a fun exercise where it’s like, oh, yeah, write it down. Like, we’ll look it up later. Whatever.

Traci Thomas 17:12
That was fun for you. And I’m we’re doing it. But like when we had our friends over, and we were talking about the Nicki Minaj, bad bunny song, like, I mean, the Cardi B bad bunny song, like, I just wanted to play it for them. So I don’t know, it’s sort of it’s sort of a balance of like, what things actually enhance the evening, like, having music on obviously enhances a dinner party. And so being able to control it when it goes with the conversation, I think, but I do think it was fun to be like, What did wit Randy Weaver look like? And then being like, what do you think and try to describe him and then realizing we were both very off. So I think it definitely is a balance of like wanting to have and have something that enhances versus just like wanting information.

Mr. Stacks 17:52
And I mean, you could definitely just tell the people who gave up their phone gave it up willingly. It was almost like a deep breath of like, yeah, just get this thing away from me put it in a bowl and I don’t have to deal with it. Yeah, totally. Shout out to Shane.

Traci Thomas 18:08
Shout out to our friend Shane. Someone asked me if it was hard to persuade Mr. Sax to to do this. And no, it was not. Mr. Sax has lightweight been harassing me for a year or so about my phone usage? Because I was on my phone a lot. You guys like an embarrassing amount? I hate myself a little bit for it. But you had I felt like I had to. I felt like I had to. That’s how they get you though. Yeah, exactly. That’s how they get you. Yeah. So I decided to read the book at the end of last year, mainly because it was a short book. And if some of you remember, I was at 110 books at the end of the year. And when you you listen to it also. Yeah, I didn’t want it to get 211. So I just was going through what was available at the library. It was like under four hours on audio. I’m not proud of it. But I am it helped me find this book. So I listened to this book. And I was like, well, because the first half is all about like what phones do to our brains and like the business of the apps and all that stuff. And then the second half is this 30 day plan. And as I was listening, I was like, Mr. Zacks. I think we should do this would you do with me? And you’re basically like, Yeah, but in a follow up question. Someone did ask, who had an easier time decreasing screen time. And I feel like I personally did better with that than you did. Obviously, I had more to decrease, but I put my phone away in the room. I got rid of all of my social media apps, like I really follow this to a tee. You didn’t have as much of a problem. So you sort of like did what you wanted to do. But I feel like as far as who got more out of this experience, it was probably me because I really went to the darker place. As a rule follower, I

Mr. Stacks 19:55
really leaned. This gets down who asked this question. I don’t know, I can’t I didn’t copy everybody who t now like a your mom,

Traci Thomas 20:04
I leave leave her out of this.

Mr. Stacks 20:06
No, but I think that it also boils down to like who we are as people like you are definitely follow the rules. But you also reap more of the benefits. Like I could definitely tell you we’re feeling really good about not only starting because she makes it so easy. It’s not like a food detox where it’s like day one give up all through

Traci Thomas 20:27
day one is like, observe like, what do you think your phone uses

Mr. Stacks 20:31
talks about? Like? How do you feel before you click Twitter versus check in with yourself? After you click Twitter? Are you more happy, less happy to say? Yeah, and it’s definitely less happy. But uh, yeah, I definitely wanted to follow the rules. But it just, I was pretty hard for me because I love music. And that was actually the hardest part is when we gave up the full waiver, our detox, I tried to put music on in the car, obviously, like 24 hours, no phone, and we have these mini stacks who wreak havoc and could end up you know, in the hospital driving anyone to take it. Yeah, taking the keys to the car. So we kept the phone on us, just in case. And once we got in the car, I didn’t really think about I was like, whatever music is music that’s not I’m not addicted to, you know, Spotify or you archive or Apple podcast app where you get your podcasts from whatever

Traci Thomas 21:29
make sure not to leave a rating or

Mr. Stacks 21:30
sounds like what the hell just let me play music and you’re like, No, there’s something called the radio which turned out to be listened to interesting. I guess music hasn’t progressed past 90s radio is an

Traci Thomas 21:43
insane thing right now. Every song I knew every lyric to have not listened to the radio in years. And it was like all throwbacks, everything, except for that one Miley Cyrus song, I can buy myself flowers, which I thought was Lady Gaga at first, but then I realized she did not have the vocal range. So I knew it couldn’t be

Mr. Stacks 21:57
but it was fun because it was it was the anniversary of Whitney and you’re like I guarantee on this 30 minute drive out to Santa Monica, we will hear Whitney Houston song and you’re right. And they didn’t so

Traci Thomas 22:08
I wanted to answer somebody for those of you who are taking notes. Yeah.

Mr. Stacks 22:12
The other thing though, is I definitely think the mini stacks noticed and their their anxiety stress level also decreased without us being on our phones. I think it is so easy to if they’re you know, off busy playing or something just pull out your phone. And you may not even notice but um, you know, they look over and they see you on your phone not paying attention. So I think the full attention that they got, I think definitely rubbed off on him. Well, she

Traci Thomas 22:43
so she has you like set no phone zones like specific times or specific places where you won’t use your phone. And so like one some of the ones that I did, obviously the bedroom at night is a no phone zone and in the morning. I do when I’m exercising because I was like checking my phone during my cooldown at peloton, which is like sort of embarrassing, but I was. Though I don’t do a no phone zone. If I’m doing a workout on my phone obviously. Or like if I was out for a run, I could listen to music but just like not being on my phone. And another one that I’ve tried to do is when there’s only one adult with the minis, I don’t think I’ve told you this when there’s only one adult with the minis not being on my phone. So like if we’re both together with them and like I need to do something on my phone or whatever doing it quickly. But if it’s just me, I won’t be on the phone. Yeah. And then another one that we put for a no phone zone is no phone when we’re watching television together because that is that was a major phone, like multitask time. And it was sort of like I’m going to sit here and watch this show which I so rarely do because I’m usually reading I really enjoyed not being on my phone and us being able to like talk about what we saw and knowing that you were actually watching when I was watching because so many times you’ll be like what about that scene all like I wasn’t paying attention.

Mr. Stacks 24:01
And it’s like the documentary. Probably wasn’t all that good. No, but it was a lot better than it would have been if we had our phone told which was kind of cool. Like

Traci Thomas 24:13
we watched some like History Channel thing called like days that changed America on Hulu or Netflix or something. We watched one on the Challenger and one on the Oklahoma City bombing, saving the one on waco for after I finished reading all these fucking waco books. I’m on my last one you guys please clap.

Mr. Stacks 24:29
Then this led us into the discussion of okay stacks pack. The OJ Simpson car chase. Does would that merit an episode on the show where it’s like one single day that changed America? I said yes. I said no. And this was a fascinating conversation that we probably wouldn’t have had if we were on our phone.

Traci Thomas 24:50
It’s definitely not a day that changed America because there’s so many different days in the OJ case that in the OJ story that happened over like two and a half years. I would argue In the case of Waco, you could say just April 19 is the day because that’s the day with like the big fire at the end that everybody saw on TV versus with OJ. The car chase didn’t really change America. It was like the whole two year saga leading to the verdicts and everything you might be able to get away with saying the verdict is the day that changed America but you’d still have to do two

Mr. Stacks 25:22
years of preamble or it’s duck’s back u n, u n

Traci Thomas 25:26
weigh in on me because Mr. Sykes is on action on the discord and I will drag all of you to hell if you disagree. Okay. Here’s another question. I got this question, this version of this kind of question a bunch of times. Do you feel is it feasible for people who pay bills, manage kids work emails all through their phone to do this? And then a similar question was, do you feel that the book offers a framework that can be implemented long term?

Mr. Stacks 25:55
I think she does a good job in the first part of the book, not only scaring you to death, about how your own brain chemistry is just being changed. And these executives at these companies know that and they don’t even let their kids have these iPhones, iPads, stuff like that. But she does a good job of like, it’s a year on thing like you, you know, do the do the 20 Day Challenge, whatever, just to just experience it, see how you feel. And then it’s like, you don’t have to just give up everything on your phone like, yeah, pay bills, you’re not addicted to unless you make tons of money. You’re not addicted to your bank app.

Traci Thomas 26:36
Right? It’s not a time suck. Yeah,

Mr. Stacks 26:39
it’s more just like being mindful of why are you on your phone? And if you need to do that stuff and just do it like it’s not a big deal. Yeah, you in this experiment, like no actually need to do that or do this.

Traci Thomas 26:53
Yeah, I mean, that’s what I keep telling people is like, it’s very easy to customize for your life. So for me, social media is my big time suck. I’m not an email person, I actually don’t like emailing from my phone. And I’ve gotten really good at being like, Okay, I only email during work hours, or like in preparation for work. So if I’m emailing, not during work hours, I put on a schedule send for other people, like, it’s just something that I feel very strongly about, I don’t do a ton of like news on my phone, if I’m gonna like read a news, you read a lot of news from the newspaper. But if I’m gonna read something, it’s usually in the newspaper, or someone sent it to me specifically. But let’s say that is your big thing, then you should delete your news app off your phone and only read physical or off your computer. Like there’s ways to make it work for you. I’m not addicted to banking on my phone. But I’ve tried really hard to only do deposits on my phone and other banking to do on the computer just like little ways to cut time. Because for me, a lot of the little stuff that I’m not actually addicted to is how I then immediately go and click on Instagram, right. And so if I can cut down on that, like I started using my notes, I use my notes app on my phone, to take notes on books. And I started, when I go to prepare, I go to those notes, apps, and I make my notes for the show. Anyways, this is really inside baseball. But I started instead of pulling up my phone to do that transcription, I started using the Notes app on my computer as well. So just like little ways to cut for me is like how it feels workable. And then as far as long term. I do think I do think it would last long term, I just think you have to stay committed to doing it. And also like continue to check in on like how much screentime you’re using, how much you’re picking up your phone. And like how you’re feeling about it. I don’t think it’s something that will feel immediately intuitive to continue doing unless you’re kind of thinking about it. And like holding on to that mindfulness.

Mr. Stacks 28:44
That’s the thing is like, if you want to talk about addiction, like everybody is addicted to their phone in one way or another, like it doesn’t leave your side. It’s there. You use it all the time. When we did our the actual detox, like the first hour, both of us feeling our legs, checking, where’s our phone, and it was, you know, it was weird, because I didn’t I don’t want that to be, you know, instinct that I don’t even notice. So it’s definitely her being like, just be more mindful. Like ask yourself, Why am I doing this? And it’s crazy, though, like, how many times when you are on Safari or whatever, you click on something and your phone tells you like, Hey, do you want to open up the app to read this thing? It’s like, you know what, no, no, like, Eff you. I’m done with apps. Yeah. And so yeah, I mean, long term, it’s it for me at least it I definitely asked myself like, why am I doing this on my phone, blah, blah, blah. And, you know, I like to send you know, links, stories, funny stuff to our group chat with your brother and your sister in law, thinking like, oh, you know, funny or smart and I’m going to prove it to them but during this whole month, I thought about I’m like, either they I think I’m funnier No, by now by now. So it’s like, I don’t really need to keep doing this. And it’s like it, it’ll be fine.

Traci Thomas 30:08
I’m really proud of you. Because this is something I’ve been trying to get you to grasp for the entire 13 years, I don’t know that it doesn’t matter how funny you are, Brady is not going to think you’re funnier or less funny, he’s already made an opinion about you

Mr. Stacks 30:20
know, for the last 13 years, I’ve been trying to hammer at it with these little links, the so now

Traci Thomas 30:24
maybe they’ll finally take my side and an argument between Brady and I instead of always been, I know, it’s so rude

Mr. Stacks 30:30
chance. That’s a whole different book that you’re gonna have to write. That’s

Traci Thomas 30:34
a whole book, but you’re gonna have to write if you want to stay married. Okay, so someone asked me this is a specific to me, but I’m gonna do it. Because I think I think it’s interesting because it’s specific to me. They said, did it change how you prep for the show or take notes for books, and I sort of was alluding to this a little bit, it actually did way more than I thought it would. So when I read for the show, I take notes on my notes app on my phone. And then when I’m done with that, I transcribe the notes that I’ve taken, and I create questions that I put in a Google Doc. And I usually do that the day before I record. Because sometimes thoughts come to me in the shower, I’m like, Oh, I really want to ask about that, or whatever. And now that I don’t take my phone into the bedroom at night, which is when I do a good chunk of my reading, I had to figure out another system to take notes. And I don’t like to write in my books, because I just don’t like to I am a prude about that kind of thing. So what I’ve started doing, and it’s working for me, but I don’t love it, because I can’t read my handwriting as well at nighttime, is, I’ve started you having a stack of post, it’s next to the bed and a pen and I write on my post, it’s upside down so that the sticky part is at the bottom, this is getting very into it. And then I write, you know, notes, and then I stick it on the page. And then during the daytime, when I have my phone, I will still take notes and the Notes app. And then at the end of the book, when it’s time to do notes, I’ll go through the notes on my phone and the notes and the post it in the book. You all if you really want to know if you look at the picture for the Roundhouse episode on Instagram, you can see the little blue green sticky notes sticking up, which I also don’t love. So I have to figure out how to how to make it work. But it has changed how I do that. So at night, I have to be a little bit more awake. And I have to write and I still am not into taking notes on my Kindle. So I haven’t quite figured that out yet how to do it. I

Mr. Stacks 32:26
can I can tell you how to do that. No, I

Traci Thomas 32:28
know how to. I just don’t like it. Oh, I don’t I’ll show you how I do it. Okay, you don’t have a Kindle. Well, and you can’t use mine. Okay, so here’s sort of like the last chunk of questions, which is about how about our feelings? How do you How did you feel the detox changed how you felt with each other?

Mr. Stacks 32:54
This is a feeling section. Yeah. So

Traci Thomas 32:55
you have to leave?

Mr. Stacks 33:00
How did it feel with each other?

Traci Thomas 33:03
How did you feel detox changed how you felt with each other?

Mr. Stacks 33:08
Yeah, I mean, I think we, we alluded to this, but we certainly talked about talked more to each other. I definitely liked you usually wake up before me. And seeing you reading instead of on your phone definitely was a nice little change. And you’re still sticking with it, which is very, very nice.

Traci Thomas 33:35
Some mornings you wake up, and I’m not even bad because I’ve gotten up to exercise. Talk about how determined I’ve been to keep my exercise regular.

Mr. Stacks 33:45
Is this a different podcast? We’re recording now? No, it’s just Well, here’s

Traci Thomas 33:49
the other question. What have you been doing with your free time? Hmm, I have found time in my day to be more regular about exercising. And that had been really hard. For me. It’s like getting the motivation to do cardio. But when I wake up early sometimes and I’m like, Okay, I actually do have like 40 minutes right now I could just go exercise and be done for the day. I’ve been doing that. Whereas normally I would like get on my phone and then I would waste 25 of those minutes and then I wouldn’t have the 20 The 40 minutes to exercise. So that’s something I’ve been doing. Yeah. I feel more fondly for you when you’re not on your phone, but I feel more irritated towards you when you are on your phone.

Mr. Stacks 34:26
That’s that. I think going back to the very first question of what was the hardest part is you kind of really need to still be mindful that people friends, family loved ones are still gonna be on your phone. And that’s okay. I think that was the hardest part is like looking at people seeing you on your phone during this detox and be like what the hell man Come on. And but it was not a time when you should have been off of your phone. It was like your time to be on your phone. And I mean, we talked about this and I was like I I’m not resentful of you. I’m just telling you like, I’m noticing now more when you’re on your phone or weird nice. It’s weird, though. But then I brought up this existential question to you is, like, if we’re the only ones doing this, come on Strikes Back, you guys can join us, but it’s like, are we gonna end up making ourselves more frustrated? And bitter? Because now it’s like, you look at friends who come over or whatever, and you see them on their phone, and it’s like, Come on, guys. Like so I don’t, I’m gonna be elitist. I’m gonna say like, look, we are. I feel better. I’m not as anxious. I’m happier.

Traci Thomas 35:42
It’s not elitist to not be on your phone. I like to say elitist, you are elitist. So you want to be elitist. But it’s I don’t think it is. So for me, I feel like the next step in all of this, which I think will be really hard to your point, is just communicating to people like, Hey, I’m trying really hard not to be on my phone a lot. And I’d love if you join me for the next hour while we’re together, you know, and just like kind of making it an invitation. And she talks about that a little bit in the book, about like asking people to just be with you present, because it makes for an intimate, more enjoyable time. But I’ve gone out to eat with a few friends and like done a few things. And I think, before I started doing this, I oftentimes would get the impulse to get on my phone when someone else was. So I feel like the times I’ve gone out to people out with people, or maybe they’re just lovely people, and they’re not on their phone as much as I was. Nobody got on their phone. And I think part of it is like if you don’t get on your phone, other people won’t get on theirs. But it’s like when you get on your phone, then you feel nervous and embarrassed and insecure. And you’re like, I have to get on my phone because I hate being the only person on the phone right now. So I feel like what I would like to take moving forward, which was someone else’s question is, I would like to take moving forward, not only my standing and not being on the phone, but also just communicating to people with like, hey, when you’re hanging out with us, we’d love for you not to be on your phone, or, Hey, we’re hanging out with us, if you would put your phone away and just turn the volume on loud to if you have a phone call or text message or whatever, that you won’t miss it. So you’re not constantly checking your phone, but also you’re present in the moment.

Mr. Stacks 37:14
I mean, I think also, the experience of leaving the house without your phone was very nice. Yeah, fun.

Traci Thomas 37:22
Yeah, I was really proud of myself that I was able to do that because I thought I never would. Oh, this is like a really practical question. Did you have to buy anything to do this. So I only bought one thing, I listened to the book on audio, and then took the book out from my library. So I did not actually buy this book. The only thing we bought was a an alarm clock on Amazon, which I’ll link to in the show notes. It was like $15. The reason I bought this particular I bought one, but it was too bright. It didn’t dim low enough. So I bought this other one that has a way where you can have no backlight. It’s not like a fancy shmancy sunrise light or whatever it cost like $15. It’s been working great for me, I really like it. And I’m still using it. I’m still using it. I like it a lot. You I think bought the freedom app, which is an app blocker. I didn’t I didn’t need it. But we were thinking that you would do it so that you could be able to watch your or listened to your music in the middle of the night without having an impulse to check other things like during your nighttime. But other than that didn’t have to buy much. I think total was like if you add up I think what is that like $30 a year plus a $15 thing. So under $50 for everything, Max, but if you don’t buy the thing, you know, you don’t I’m saying?

Mr. Stacks 38:41
No. And you know, shout out to your boy here. I was already a subscriber to the newspaper. But I feel like that would be something that you would have bought.

Traci Thomas 38:50
Shout out to your girl who bought you the subscription to the newspaper.

Mr. Stacks 38:54
Shout out to charity.

Traci Thomas 38:57
Thank you as our first anniversary paper. I got him the newspaper. Well,

Mr. Stacks 39:01
the it was kind of a sad moment. I don’t know if you picked up on this, but the mini stacks came in her room. I think it was one weekend. And they just they rifle through everything. And we don’t we’re not really baby proofing the house and we just you know, yell at them Be like, come on. Don’t Don’t touch that. Just leave that there. But they picked up the alarm clock and they’re like, What is this? And I felt so bad. I was like, Oh my God, that’s true. We have no we’ve never had a physical clock in the house. They don’t know. They don’t know what it is. And

Traci Thomas 39:33
I was like put that down. Otherwise, my phone

Mr. Stacks 39:37
is the most important thing.

Traci Thomas 39:39
Do you ever want to see mommy’s face again? Don’t make the alarm clock. Yes.

Mr. Stacks 39:42
So that was an interesting experience. But I think you’ll continue to use that alarm clock.

Traci Thomas 39:47
I don’t foresee a circumstance where I will bring the phone back into the bedroom unless we were to move houses and there wasn’t a room close enough to the bedroom for me to check to like plug my phone in. Because Okay, so this is Another question that someone asked, which is a perfect feeder, and we’re kind of getting to the end of these questions, and we’ll move to the book questions which there aren’t that many. Someone said, how do you handle the stress of not being reachable? Especially at nighttime. And beautiful, beautiful as nice? Well, yeah, so first of all, love not being reachable. Turns out, that’s my kink, not being reachable very into it. But I am a parent, I have children in school, I have a spouse who works outside of the home. And we have a babysitter. And so I have a work filter during the day where Mr. Sax or babysitter I my kids school can get through to me at any time, and I put it on, no one else can get through. And I put it on loud. So it’s not near me, my phones aren’t near me, if someone reaches out, I can go get it. And check in with what’s going on with those people. The same thing is true. Many of you know Mr. Sacks is actually Dr. Stacks. And when he works call, which is 24 hours overnight, I put the phone, I charged the phone still in the bathroom, but I just put it on loud at night. So if for some reason he needs me, he can call it’s like a landline, I would hear it because it’s right in the next room. But it’s not still I don’t have to have the phone right on me. So I sort of like hacked it out that I can keep the phone in the other room, but still be reachable. And then the last thing I would say, it’s for those of you who don’t know this, at least on the iPhone, if you go Do Not Disturb mode, and someone calls you like twice within three minutes or something, it will break Do Not Disturb mode. So if it’s really an emergency where someone needs you, they’re probably going to call you more than once if you don’t answer on the first try. And in which case, you would be able to hear them or connect with them. So those are all the things I that I would say that make it easier for me not to feel stressed out about an emergency. But you can of course filter, I actually have a filter that I’ve been putting on on the weekend. That’s my family and my best friends that can reach me and everyone else, it’s still filtered out just because I don’t need to be bothered by a text. And I am quick to grab my phone if I see a text message come in. So I’ve been just trying to find ways of like, Who do I actually want to talk to? And who do I actually want to be able to disrupt me for communication. Last question on this. Do you feel like the book system from Katherine price is essential? Is it making it easier to cut back?

Mr. Stacks 42:31
I think I mean, it’s a short book, she lays it out. It’s very easy to follow. I would say it is. I guess we don’t know there are other books out there that do similar things. But this was so easy. I would say yeah, it is essential to read if you wanted to do this, because it’s a slow, sort of like dip your toe into the hot tub. You like to just go straight in Yeah, hot. A hot tub. I have 30 minutes slowly getting it and I pull the cord and get out. So this is yeah, I would say yes.

Traci Thomas 43:10
For me, I would say it’s essential. I again, didn’t do any other versions of this, but I couldn’t have done it. The idea of it. And like even just thinking about it beforehand was making I mean, the first day I was like, I’m so nervous, I’m gonna fail at this, which is very much my personality. But I needed something that was like day by day, piece by piece. So if there’s another system or another person who’s got this, which I’m sure there is I’m not saying that Katherine prices is the only way I’m just saying hers is the way that I did. And it worked for me. And I’m glad that I had her with me. I should also just say, she has a like, this is gonna sound really antithetical, but she has an online phone version of this, where she’ll text you every day, your thing for the day, or whatever. And I think I think I have a discount code for that somehow, because I reached out to her people saying that I was doing the program, and I think they sent me one. So either way, I’ll link to that in the show notes. And I’ll just make sure to put a note, if it’s a discount for you, I should I think it’s like 15% off. So if you wanted if you didn’t want to buy the full book, though, I recommend the book and your library. But if you wanted to have it where it was like coming to you regularly, so you couldn’t miss out. I’ll link to that as well.

Mr. Stacks 44:21
And it’s even easier because she were in 2018. Yeah, so a lot of the things that she’s like, Oh, you gotta download this or do that. The screen time stuff is already that’s on your phone that has already been collected, which is also scary. Yeah, it’s already been done without even knowing.

Traci Thomas 44:38
Yeah. Okay, we’re going to transition to book stuff. I only have three books stuff questions. The first one, which is the most basic book question ever and one of my personal favorites is what are you reading right now? Who, me? Well, you go and then I’ll go.

Mr. Stacks 44:52
When was the last time I was on the show. What are you reading right now still reading that or not? What do you read? I read the La times every day, the Atlantic every month but book wise I am reading the cell by my boy. Siddhartha Mukherjee. You got me that his first book Emperor of All Maladies so it’s excellent from my point of view. It is very in the weeds though if you don’t know what goes on in the cell body because he goes deep. Yeah.

Traci Thomas 45:25
I am listening to ride or die by Shanita Hubbard. I am also listening to waitlists by Yvette Dion. I am Oh, I can’t tell you guys what I don’t think but a friend of mine wrote a book. And she sent me the draft. One of her first drafts with a red pen is spiral bound spiral bound. And I’m reading it and taking notes and helping her with structure. There’s like five or six of us doing this. So this is sort of a first for me, very exciting. I feel very honored that she reached out for me to do this. So I’m reading that. And then as I mentioned earlier, I am on the final book of my waco Branch Davidian trifecta, it’s crashed by Steven Talati I am 20% in at present ago and then I will close the book and declare myself a branch of it and David crash waco expert and I will be having CNN MSNBC History Channel and other people reach out to me for interviews because I’m available to be an official wakey Waconia in

Mr. Stacks 46:36
the thing was that him as a topic of people writing about him, is they always choose these photos put on the front page, and you had me go get your book one time you’re out and the phone, phone prozone in TV room, and went back to that room to get the book and your Kindle Kindle was covering half of the book and I just saw this like little boy with these glasses are staring at me. Oh my god, that is terrifying. Okay,

Traci Thomas 47:10
but David Koresh was secretly sort of hot.

Mr. Stacks 47:13

Traci Thomas 47:13
He was like, part of his thing is like he was like, sort of a baddie. He wasn’t like Jim Jones, who was like, sort of like Dopey and like gross and like, you know, like

Mr. Stacks 47:22
sweaty Jim Joseph party, though. Well,

Traci Thomas 47:25
right. He wasn’t a drug addict in the same way as Jim Jones. And so he like looked healthy and young and he had like the mullet I mean, Taylor Kitsch plays him in the show. So obviously, like, Taylor Kitsch isn’t playing fucking Jim Jones. That’s all I’m saying. Okay, the next question is Oh, I like this What’s uh, what’s one book you both agree on and one book you disagree on? Hmm, there’s a lot of agree on.

Mr. Stacks 47:51
Yeah. What does that mean agree like that

Traci Thomas 47:52
we both agree is either really good or really bad or whatever?

Mr. Stacks 47:55
I mean, shout out to KSA obviously happy yeah. And then men we reaped a shock is one of those that is just

Traci Thomas 48:04
I love Yeah. And chocolate milk. Didn’t we agree on where men when glory Jon Krakauer and all those books we love? We love Missoula, Montana, Missoula. Missoula is good, but it’s not men we reaped or under the banner of heaven. Yeah. Well, what’s the book we disagree on? I can only think of one sort of off the top of my head. I don’t want to taint your answer.

Mr. Stacks 48:30
I don’t know. Because the problem is you, I get to just cherry pick the best of the best. You you read everything. And you’re like, you should read this. So oh, I’ll go second on this.

Traci Thomas 48:44
Okay, so it’s not so much that we disagree on this book that I’m about to say it’s more that you have a set of tastes that do not align with my set of tastes, which are deep science. So you ever when we first started dating, you tried to get me to read like some Bill Bryson read like the first sentence it was like, I does not compute I’m not smart enough to read this and immediately put it down. It was like the one with animals on like, or like the forest on the cover, like a planet on the cover. And I was like, No,

Mr. Stacks 49:15
it’s blue. It has a planet. Yeah. And it’s amazing. Well,

Traci Thomas 49:18
what’s it called?

Mr. Stacks 49:19
A Brief History of nearly everything.

Traci Thomas 49:24
Not interested. I wonder about does it have a section on racism because

Mr. Stacks 49:29
that was a follow up, but he never got around to it. Okay,

Traci Thomas 49:31
gotta get a brief history on racism from a white guy. You’re welcome. And like, so that also carries over like you wanted me to try to read some of the sciency guy that you like, what’s his name? The black Science Guy. Neil deGrasse Tyson not gonna do it. And then you also tried to get me to read Christopher Hitchens. And I tried it and I just couldn’t. It’s like that like really pontificating voice that I just don’t like.

Mr. Stacks 49:55
Yeah, I would say one thing that you liked that you wanted me to like what Is that little tiny book on tyranny? Oh, it was more just like, it’s so depressing. Okay, he’s right, I get it. But do I need to read this? And, uh, you really liked it?

Traci Thomas 50:14
I did. That was in my first year of getting back into reading. That was my 2016 12 books on your year, I needed that small book to help me make it when I got there. Oh, this is a question just for me sort of a bummer to end on. But do you ever have to read something you’re not interested in? Well, I guess, do you ever have to do something you’re not interested in?

Mr. Stacks 50:31
Not really anymore? Not really, no,

Traci Thomas 50:35
no, I sometimes do. It’s not that I’ve read something that I’m not interested in. Usually what it is, is I’m interested in it, which is why I read it. And I agree to have that person on the show. And then I end up not liking it, but I still have to finish it. That’s usually what happens. I’ve generally I’ve gotten to the point, luckily, with the podcast, and with knowing my own tastes, or I can sort of tell if something is going to be in my wheelhouse, like, I’m going to be interested in it enough. And every once in a while, I’ll pick up a book. And I think that it’s totally my shit. And then I start reading it. And I’m like, Oh, this is totally my ship, but the writing sucks. So that’s happened a few times. But it’s very rare. And again, is a definitely a privilege of being able to book a lot of guests that I’m really interested in. And you know, I still struggle sometimes to get certain people on the show. But for the most part, I’m lucky that I’m able to get most people that I want. So not anymore, though. I have certainly struggled through books. Also. Sometimes I struggle through books for like outside the stacks events where I’m asked to like moderate a panel for whatever. And it’s four books and like two of them I’m really interested in and then two of them are about like Appomattox and I’m like, How will I survive this?

Mr. Stacks 51:46
Yeah. I’ll enter with a question though. Okay. Discord wanted me to ask you. So we talked about this, you know, 24 hours of no phone. We both really liked it. We think we will probably incorporate it. Maybe once a month, whatever, something. But do you see yourself rereading this book a few years from now if you like, Forget everything if you realize like, none of it stuck. Do you see yourself rereading this?

Traci Thomas 52:18
I would certainly revisit the book if I felt like I was back to my six hours of screen time a day for sure. But I hope that I don’t have to. Yeah, what about you?

Mr. Stacks 52:31
If you reread it, I’ll reread it No, no, that’s our show you

Traci Thomas 52:38
so you know what you just gave yourself away? I know you don’t listen to the bonus episodes because that is not the theme song for the bonus episode. I need one. We have one but that’s not it. Christian Cue the music. All right, you guys, thank you so much for being here and listening to us. Chit Chat. That was me and Mr. Stacks, talking about our phone detox and just some general questions, and we will see you in The Stacks!

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